November 17, 2009
I have been using mind mapping for organizing my work flow in the archives. I recently agreed to do an informal presentation for RRLC’s College Archivists Roundtable so I decided to try it out as a presentation tool, rather than Powerpoint.
You can download free software for mind mapping at freemind.sourceforge.net if you want to try it out.
The presentation is on EAD so I begin with a center circle with EAD then add nodes for Who, Why, What, How and Resources.
I attach nodes to each of these, e.g. How has nodes for EAD Cookbook and Archivist’s Toolkit.
Each of them have nodes, e.g. EAD Cookbook has three; Download, starting a finding aid, troubleshooting.
Then each of those has nodes. It ends up looking like an illustration of evolution.
A couple of advantages are
- You don’t have to have all the branches open at once. You click on a node to expand it to the next level. This keeps it from being visually intimidating when you start out.
- You can add links to external webpages or programs and documents on your computer to each node.
The presentation is on Dec 4th. I’ll report back to you.
November 6, 2009
I spent the morning learning how to work with Voyager reports in MS Access. [Thanks to Sara Greenleaf!] My goal is to analyze what we currently have in our special collections in order to determine what areas/authors to collect.
I have worked with Access quite a lot in the past, but always with databases I had built myself. It is a bit different to tackle finding the fields you need from so many different tables. If not for Sara I would still be lost in that swamp. Once that hurdle was jumped it was relatively easy. I’ve set up queries to count the number of titles in each LC class and dominant authors. I can then drill down by limiting to a class.
I now have all this information at my fingertips. Figuring out how best to use it is the next problem. Here is some data for those who are interested.
- PR-English literature
- B-Philosophy, psychology, religion (Hobart was founded as an Episcopalian college.)
- PS-American literature
- E-American history
- Herbert, George, 1593-1633.
- Muratori, Lodovico Antonio, 1672-1750.
- Hubbard, Elbert, 1856-1915.
- Sismondi, J.-C.-L. Simonde de, 1773-1842.
- Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832.
- Thiers, Adolphe, 1797-1877.
- Pliny, the Elder.
- MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-
- Ruskin, John, 1819-1900.
I’m going to have to contemplate this a bit to see where it takes me.